The BCD 396 is a nice scanner but.

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Tulsey

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The Bearcat 396 scanner is a nice scanner, but with a couple of features that bother me.

1. I wish they had made it to use four AA batteries instead of three . I think the scanner would have run longer if they had used four instead of three, Mine bareley will work eight hours before flashing low battery.

2. Why could they not have just had an old fashion twist knob for turn on and off and volume control. Having to scroll through a menu and watch the display just to get to where you can adjust the volume is a pain. professional radios don't have such a bothersome method.
 

h8tdigitalradio

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Having to scroll through a menu and watch the display just to get to where you can adjust the volume is a pain. professional radios don't have such a bothersome method.
Just down tap the Scroll Knob one time, then adjust volume. No need to use Menu.

73

Dave AKA The Tripzter
 

torontokris

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Yes battery may last longer on 4 batteries but it may not be able to fit in the same small form factor that it does if it had 4 batteries...

So its a trade off of size and # of batteries

And be thankful some of the older Uniden battery "packs" only last 4-5 hours.. and once they died you had to look/find a new pack. You couldnt just go to your local store and buy more AA's.
 

linuxwrangler

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I usually leave keypad lock on. With keypad lock on, the knob is just volume. No need to tap at all. Also, the "Hold" button still works with keypad lock on so you can still quickly halt on an interesting channel.

Whether 3 batteries or 4, I'm glad they used plain old AA instead of a proprietary pack. I currently use Powerex Imedion low-self-discharge batteries that I charge externally. I bought a dozen of them. If I'm playing with my camera, I have 3 sets of 4 for the flash. But usually I have 4 sets of 3 for the scanner or for my FRS radios. I generally get 9-11 hours of life from a set.
 

gusbuster1217

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Everything has there flukes.
I have both the gsr 500 and the 396. The 500 is a pain to program the way I like it and the 396 is a breeze but as you said, battery life was worth diddly.

I am another advocate of buying a higher mah rated battery and charge externally.(would not be wise to charge from radio). I just bought a 2 hr external charger and some Duracell rechargeable rated at 2650mah. I can listen over 12 hrs no problem. Can get 2 sets and recharger for under $50.

What comes with the 396, just like any other rechargeable battery, it will recharge a certain amount of times before going bad.
 

af5rn

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The inconvenience of the control knob is the first gripe I had with the 396 too. It just plain sucks. WAY too often, when I try to quickly adjust my volume, I end up losing the conversation I was trying to turn up because of that stupid dual-purpose knob.

The size of the 396 is nice, but really, there was NO reason to sacrifice functionality (or battery life) just to shave half an inch off of that thing. I think it was a very poor decision to focus so much on size over function. Giving me one more knob and one more battery isn't going to make the thing too big and heavy for anyone to carry!
 

LEH

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You should recall that the 246, the 396 predecessor uses only two batteries and there is not all that much difference in size.

I have no problem with battery life. I've gone over 12 hours with the Enoloop batteries. I don't use the light all that often which can be a big battery drain.
 

Uplink

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I agree with you guys, awsome scanner, but the push-in-for-volume knob thingy SUCKS. :mad: I'll keep dreaming they come out with a software fix for that.
 

torontokris

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The 246 isnt digital, so its not exactly the same. But I see your point.

Maybe they could have added another battery at the bottom, but then people would complain that its heavy, or could have been smaller.

I guess its a trade-off in size/battery life.

If people are getting 8-12 hours on 3 batteries then it cant be that big of a problem.


I remember the 250's and 296's battery packs getting 4-5 hours brand new on digital.
Then having to re-charge it for 12.


So 8-12 hours on replaceable AA's is great for me.



You should recall that the 246, the 396 predecessor uses only two batteries and there is not all that much difference in size.

I have no problem with battery life. I've gone over 12 hours with the Enoloop batteries. I don't use the light all that often which can be a big battery drain.
 

Mainsail

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I’m no fan of the volume knob as it is, or the push-and-hold button for power either.

I would have preferred four batteries instead of three, not only for a longer run time, but because batteries are sold and recharged in FOURS, not threes. The difference in size would have been very small.
 

bwilborn

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I usually leave keypad lock on. With keypad lock on, the knob is just volume. No need to tap at all. Also, the "Hold" button still works with keypad lock on so you can still quickly halt on an interesting channel.
You know, I never knew that. How nice! Thanks!

-- B
 

LEH

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I’m no fan of ... or the push-and-hold button for power either.
I have an ICOM R-10 which has a push button for the power button. On more than one occasion, I've pulled the R-10 out to use it only to find the batteries are dead because the power button got a transient push and the scanner got turned on.

So if I have a choice of push and hold or just push, I'll take the push and hold feature any day.

Now why they integrated the light with the power button is another story. I like how it is on the 246, a separate button.
 

rvawatch

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but because batteries are sold and recharged in FOURS, not threes.
My charger can charge 3 batteries at a time. its the black maha expensive one tho.

personally... i wish my psr-500 had the digital volume/squelch knob. i hardly adjust my squelch, and i just found the knob on the 396t very easy to use. just my opinion tho
 

bwilborn

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but because batteries are sold and recharged in FOURS, not threes.
So buy three packs of four, then you can rotate between four sets of batteries. Me, I have a whole jar of rechargable AA batteries for all of my electronic items, so the whole hot dog/bun dilemma doesn't really matter for me. :)

-- B
 

Mainsail

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So buy three packs of four, then you can rotate between four sets of batteries. Me, I have a whole jar of rechargable AA batteries for all of my electronic items, so the whole hot dog/bun dilemma doesn't really matter for me. :)

-- B
Thats what I did, but I don't like it.
:p
 
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